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The frontier of 
Mind/Body Healing Dr. Robert Weissfeld About NeurOntogenics

NeurOntogenics®  - a neurobehavioral approach to stress, pain and illness.

Life is always functioning towards some end. Learning, intention and motivation inform our each behavior.  Without them, we are inert like an unattended computer on a desk.

The brain is shaped and developed through learning.

Learning occurs at every level of our bodies, from the individual cell to the integrated function of the entire nervous system. It controls every function of the body: all physiology is behavioral.  Everything that an organism does internally or externally, is behavior. Every toxin or invasive organism attacked by the immune system, every drop of seratonin or dopamine secreted by a neuron, the hormonal levels in your blood, the feeling of hunger, scratching the itch on your nose - all are formatted by learning.

Our behavior today is based on the past.

But how much of what was true for the situation yesterday, a year ago or 25 years ago is still true for today? Are we putting our best foot forward based on the real needs of the present moment?

We use old learning for new situations, this is called Adaptation.

In response to each physical, chemical, mental and emotional stress that we encounter, we develop a strategy or ‘posture’. These postures are like programs we load to accomplish life’s tasks. The ability to adapt is crucial to our survival. And stress is the greatest teacher of adaptation.

Successful adaptation is learning.

What is successful adaptation? To the brain, it is any adaptation that leads to survival. Like the dog in our neighbor’s yard that barks every time we pass might conclude that once again it successfully protected its domain, the brain will hoards learning for use in the future.

This learning can be permanent.

We may expect that such adaptation would ‘reset’, once a posture we take towards the world is no longer needed it would would ‘close’ -once the stress was gone, but in fact, that is often NOT the case.  Instead of learning new ways of responding, the brain first tries to react to new circumstance with a strategy that ‘worked’ in the past.

Adaptation that continues beyond its time of need may cease to be useful and in fact become harmful. This is known as maladaptation.

Imagine you lived in a town where, after being hit with a tornado, an alarm came on every time a cloud passed overhead. At first you might unnecessarily run to your basement each time, but after awhile you might realize that it is likely a false alarm and continue on with your life. The alarm might still be going off, and, despite the fact it still makes you tense, you learn to ignore it. Thus, the critical alarm (adaptation) has become a disruptive factor (maladaptation).

Next - what is maladaptation and how does it affect our health and well-being?

‘Neurontogenic-’  definition  

‘nurontogenic’ derives from

neur - neur (nʊr) pref - relating to the nervous system

ontogenic - onto·genic (ŏn-tŏj'e-'nĭk) adj.– from the Greek word ontic - having real being - relating to the origin, essence or nature or development of an organism or object   

neurontogenic adj.- relating to a fundamental behavioral or functional capacity of the nervous system.


Neurobehavioral treatment - a completely new approach to the same old problems

Neurobehavioral treatment is treatment based on neurological principles of learning and memory and how they affect function (behavior).

 the organizing activity of living systems, at all levels of life, is mental [behavioral] activity”  - Fritjof Capra Ph.D., Physicist (1996) ,  

All physiology is behavioral – it operates based on learning... - Peter Litchfield Ph.D., Behavioral Physiologist (2006) .

With all due respect to the esteemed Drs. Capra and Litchfield, Yogi may have said it best:

 Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical. - Yogi Berra, date unknown

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